Commander Robert K. Elizondo

Commanding Officer, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49

27 October 2020 Commander Elizondo is a native of Southeast Michigan, growing up in the cities of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Woods. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the US Navy and departed for Newport, RI as part of the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection in Training (BOOST) program. After completing BOOST, CDR Elizondo accepted an NROTC scholarship to the University of Michigan. He received his commission through NROTC in December of 2001, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. In February of 2002, Commander Elizondo reported for flight training in Pensacola, FL and earned his wings of gold in September of 2003.

Commander Elizondo’s first operational tour (2005-2007) was with the Vipers of HSL-48 in Mayport, FL, supporting counter drug operations and multinational exercise support on detachments TWO and FIVE. After this successful tour culminating as the squadron’s Quality Assurance officer, CDR Elizondo transitioned to his first shore tour.

During his subsequent tours with the Spartans of HSM-70 (2010-2012, as a super JO) and the Swamp Foxes of HSM-74 (2012-2014, as a Detachment OIC and Squadron Operations Officer) in Jacksonville, FL, Commander Elizondo flew in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and counter piracy missions during both squadrons’ inaugural MH-60R deployments.

During his first shore tour, Commander Elizondo served as a flight instructor pilot for the MH-60R for HSM-41 Seahawks, where he transitioned from the SH-60B to MH-60R. Later, Commander Elizondo received his Joint Officer Qualification while serving at US Pacific Command as the Deputy Division Chief for the Joint Interagency Coordination Group.

Commander Elizondo holds degrees from the University of San Diego with a Master of Science degree in Global Leadership and the US Naval War College with a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. His personal awards include Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Naval Commendation Medals, and four Navy Achievement Medals.
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